July 11, 2019
This show isn't talked about often, as it's simply a great show in a period that is known for great shows. The cool thing about the Grateful Dead in 1969 is that they were a raw, powerful band. That is on full display on this recording.
Having known the Electric Factory well, I can almost hear the venue on this one- the recording itself isn't the greatest, but all the chanells are clear, and you can hear band interplay wondferfully- there is a hiss that others have mentioned, and I get the impression that I am listening to an old cassette tape when I play it.
The Darkstar in the first set is fantastic- the lyrics don't kick in until about 17 minutes into the song before it transitions into St Stephen- This version,while not the longest, or the best is a solid example of just how creative the band was during this period- There are hundreds of " ideas" being explored in this Dark Star.
The interplay between Jerry and Phil during " The Eleven" is as good as it gets- I love how towards the end of the song, Jerry is clearly playing that " round" motiff of the Elven, and Phil just starts playing the baseline of " Lovelight" right over top- bringing the band into the 1st set closer.
The closing of the Cryptical suite also has some pure electric moments with Jerry's leads- He was tapping into something- and I can just see him standing outside in a Philadelphia alley way, guitar to the sky, rivaling Franklin himself- I'm sure this show earned them a lot of fans- in one of their first shows in Philadelphia ( they played about 4 in 1968- although no recordings remain.)